Client Advice When Will My Logo Design Be Finished?" is one of the most often asked questions by potential new clients, yet is the single most hardest one to give an accurate answer to.
As much as I completely understand the need for us all to control deadlines and schedules, not to mention the feeling of helplessness when tasking an outside designer to work on a project, the question still erks me.
There are a number of factors that are completely out of my control when it comes to determining when and if a logo design, or even a general direction for a logos possible direction, can be confirmed by, and a relatively accurate date given.
I don't like not being able to answer the question in the way a client will be hoping for, but I simply cannot, and will not, promise a finished date when it's a complete crock of shit, and a big fat lie.
The reality is: who knows when I'll come up with that logo design idea that the client, or board members, or select group of trusted advisors will all unanimously approve.
When design itself is so subjective, how can one logo designer promise and assume that they'll come up with a logo design that will, without fail, knock their client's collective socks off!
If I could always determine the exact date and moment that the finale of all a single logo design projects: groundwork, mind-map's, understanding the clients business/product/service, research of competitors, sketches of multiple ideas, and creating digital version in Illustrator, and give that date to a client with 100% certainty, I'd quickly realise I would be able to book up years worth of clients with week-by-week start and completion dates. Indeed, that really would be quite useful.
We all need Client Schedules
Obviously it's very important to know when the client ideally needs a logo done by. After all, if there were no schedules or deadlines, we'd likely never finish it.
A schedule helps us focus our priorities, and allows us to prioritise other projects. However, a schedule is quite different from a promised completion date, especially with something as unpredictable as delivering a winning logo design idea right on time.
Each time I am asked, "When Will My Logo Design Be Finished?", the only thing I can say for sure is that I really don't know, but I will work my damnedest to complete the logo project in a timely manor, with any deadlines/schedules that the client has in mind, but without sacrificing the quality and integrity of the design. Not to mention putting myself under unnecessary stress.
If this is not good enough, then I simply refuse to take the project on. It doesn't do me any good at all to take on a project knowing that an urgent deadline is waiting, and knowing I can't possibly know if I'll be able to deliver.
I can often give an overall idea, based on previous projects, but then again, anytime I give even an 'approximate' idea, it often feels like you are being held to that.
I simply try to just say it could take a few weeks, or it could take a a month or longer. It depends on how well the brief is put together, how quickly I'm able to get on track with the interpretation of the brief, how quickly I'm able to narrow in on that particular design that the client will like.
If each presented logo idea is rejected, then this clearly adds more time onto the project, and I can't possibly know how a client will react to any one design. Even after all these years, it remains mostly a mystery to me.
If you really don/t know how long a new logo project will take, and the client is pressing for a completion date, try your best not to provide a date you cannot possibly stick to.
Do try your best to explain to the client that you are working on the project, it is your sole focus for the foreseeable future, and that you will just 'put in your all' whilst ensuring the brief is adhered to, and not at the expense of 'is it done yet, is it done yet'.
By all means give a approximate guide, BUT stress this is most likely going to change. Sure, you could stumble across that amazing idea overnight, but you can't rely on that happening.
Far better, and considerably more professional, to count on experiencing a few challenges during the projects development whilst trying to hone in on that one logo idea that wins the hearts of all concerned.
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